IO: analysis

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The poem “IO” (1995) was my first experiment with interactivity; in essence it is constructed and animated with Strata StudioPro software and integrated with Macromedia Director. The reader sets the poem off by making the spherical object move at choice in one of four directions – up, down, left, right. At a given moment a transformation takes place: there the object’s texture changes, from opaque to transparent, to show the cylindrical penetration within the sphere. This is accompanied by a sound background: the vocalization of “o” and “i”, inference to the opaque and transparent worlds respectively, and the vocalization of the diphthongs “io” and “oi” at the change from one texture to another. At certain moments, chosen at random by the program, quotations and commentaries appear in relationship to the various meanings of the word “IO” – Italian for “I”, the sign for Input/Output, numerals “1” and “0” – and excerpts from Hölderlin’s translation of Sophocles’ “Antigone”, in which “io” appears as a phonetic transposition of an ancient Greek interjection indicating pain and lamentation. (author description)

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Luciana Gattass